Dubai’s Jumeirah Hotels mulls Saudi foray

Dubai-based Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is planning to expand into Saudi Arabia, according to a report in The National.


The executive chairman of the group, Gerald Lawless said the luxury hotel management company, which is part of Dubai Holding, has “a number of leads and negotiations going on right now in Saudi.

“Saudi Arabia is very important for us. I certainly believe very strongly in Saudi Arabia as having great potential for corporate travel and for leisure travel, and of course you have religious tourism, which is a major factor as well.”

Jumeirah Group, which manages the iconic Burj al Arab in Dubai, has previously inked deals for hotels in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan, the daily adds. In Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah has a 66-storey luxury beachfront hotel, Jumeirah Etihad Towers, under development, it says.

“We will continue to look at whatever might come up in Abu Dhabi – the dynamism of Abu Dhabi and the way it is developing at the moment is obviously very exciting and very interesting for us,” Mr Lawless said.

In addition, Jumeirah Group is also pushing ahead with its extensive international expansion plans. These include projects in the US Virgin Islands, the Maldives, China and Mallorca, the National’s report states.

“I’m extremely confident that we will achieve the [international] target of 60 hotels either in operation or under development by 2012,” Mr Lawless said.

“We are well on target to achieve that at the moment in terms of the number of management agreements, which is almost 25 at this stage.”

The move is intended to limit the impact of the global turnaround on the group’s business in Dubai, the daily observed.

Source: Arabian Business

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